My Sister’s Closet, founded in 1998, provides women in poverty with professional clothing, job interview preparation and educational workshops.
At the nonprofit’s day of service, volunteers cleaned the store for the new season and organized clothing, accessories and shoes by size and category. They shined shoes, dusted racks and worked among the pink couches, giant mirrors and mannequins displaying business attire.
The event offered volunteers multiple two-hour shift opportunities. Each hour, a different MLK quote was read aloud to honor the civil rights leader’s legacy and inspire volunteers.
“I come here on Martin Luther King day because it’s a way to give back,” said Carol Carter, 65.
A former school teacher and Bloomington resident of 30 years, Carter has volunteered at My Sister’s Closet for three years.
“We’re doing whatever we can do to help sparkle My Sister’s Closet and make it lovely for the ladies that come in and shop everyday,” she said.
Danielle Willis, 26, wanted to give back time to the organization after they helped her find clothes for a job interview.
Willis, an IU student, said she was moved when a quote from MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech was read to volunteers in between shifts.
“It was really touching because it was just bringing everybody together, and My Sister’s Closet brought everybody together here for this volunteer opportunity,” Willis said.
Senior Dimas Mendoza, 23, took a break from his 18 credit hours at IU to help organize the clothing racks. He said he was volunteering in honor of his mother, who is a strong female figure in his life.
Mendoza said his favorite MLK quote is, “I look to the day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
“Being a minority, I’ve always felt that sometimes, I may not be judged by my character, more by my characteristics,” said Mendoza. “I always judge people by their character.”